All posts filed under: wellbeing

A year of depression

I am writing and sharing this to support anyone who experiences depression – so you know you are not alone and so you may be able to feel less afraid of it. As 2018 comes to a close I want to share that this has been one of my most difficult years in terms of depression. It has been a low-lying, miserable depression which prevents me from believing in myself, which just sucks the life out of life. Now here’s the thing about depression, I am not unhappy – I have a lovely little life with my family and I have the best little business – I laugh, I love, I smile, I plan, I do, I hope and I cope – but this year I have also struggled, I am struggling, to stay positive, to accept me, to feel good enough. My default – like so many other people – is worthlessness and feeling useless: it can be all consuming and crippling but I am lucky, I have robust coping strategies, brilliant support and there …

The Truth About The Menopause

Tonight’s BBC documentary The Truth About The Menopause worked with different groups of perimenopausal women to find ways of managing the symptoms, especially hot flushes. I was part of the CBT group and we completed a project over the summer in addition to the filmed session and two phone sessions with Dr Mel Smith who was running our sessions. The effects of focusing on my hot flushes, night sweats and sleep, as well as using my breathing throughout the day have made a life-changing difference to my peri-menopause symptoms. Attempting to take some control in this way, also means I have focused on more walking and exercise, as well as a healthier diet, which has also had an affect. I barely have night sweats anymore and only one or two hot flushes most days. As part of this project I also discovered that some women experience shivers as well as/instead of hot flushes and this is all about the body’s inability to regulate temperature as our hormones levels shift. Just having this knowledge has made …

Pregnancy: aches & pains

Pregnancy is so different for every woman – I have had three pregnancies and I had worked with hundreds of pregnant women and I have seen women blossom and I have seen women struggle. Our bodies grow, adapt and change throughout pregnancy so it is inevitable that there will be tiredness and a few aches. Pregnancy may not be a time of illness for many of us but it is a time of listening to our bodies, of taking it easy when it demands us to rest and when it hurts. Your back and your hips can ache as your body changes shape, your legs can become restless, your may develop carpal tunnel in your wrists and hands, your pubic bone can ache and hurt and you may experience headaches. This can start in your second trimester or you could be close to the end of your pregnancy – you still need to listen to your body. Rest is good and use as many pillows as it takes to be comfortable – under your bump, …

Understanding & managing anxiety

Feeling anxious can be a normal part of life – when we worry about something, when we are preparing for something major but ongoing anxiety – when we can be consumed by worry, tension and fear – can be crippling. For some women, anxiety can appear in pregnancy, or it can hit as they begin their life as a new mum. It can be in response to trauma or it can just appear because maybe we feel out of control, maybe the change we are experiencing is scary and stressful and we could be in a constant state of worry. Ongoing anxiety can be hideous, it can affect how people live, think and act and it can sometimes make us feel like we are going insane. So it can be important to get some support and to know how to handle it when it hits. signs of anxiety a rapid heartbeat feeling on edge, unable to relax stomach churning dizzy or light-headed restless, unable to sit still aches and pains including headache or backache fast, …

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Being a mum

This is something I write about every now and then – so much of my work is with new mums and I am also a mum who rides the ever changing challenges of motherhood. I remember the early days and weeks with my first baby – the terror I felt at the pressure to get this right, to keep her alive and how overwhelmed I was by the feeling of being ill-equipped to look after my baby. I loved her but I don’t remember feeling comfortable and confident looking after her for about 3 months – I just felt lost. In the early weeks, it was the most isolating experience of my life – everyone else seemed to have answers, everyone else seemed to have babies who slept, everyone else seemed less afraid than me. At times, I felt useless and incapable. And because I was finding it so hard, I felt guilty, like I wasn’t a good enough mum because surely no-one else was struggling? But slowly my confidence did build and I started …